On April 8th, you are invited to a day that will allow you to process your sorrows and your grief. Perhaps this will be in a way that you have never done, or maybe you’ve done this before and it’s time to do it again. The day will be designed around exercises of writing, some movement, sharing, drumming, listening and end with an opportunity to release it all at a water alter, designed to ease your sorrows. Come honor yourself in a day designed especially for you.
John O’Donohue says, “What we encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach…When we approach with reverence great things decide to approach us.”
What has been the thread that has been with you throughout your life? What is a constant that regardless of situation has always been present? These questions were posed to a group of people in a class that I am taking, called “Living a Soulful Life,” with Francis Weller. I have to say that the most compelling and vivid thing in my life, with a strong degree of consistency, is trauma. Weller says that grief does not always bring trauma, but trauma will always bring grief.
Energy. Emotions are energy, they need to move through us or they get stuck leaving us feeling numb, incapacitated, paralyzed, agitated, unable to clearly focus, depressed, anxious. So we turn to things that appear to take all these feelings or energies away and unfortunately they aren’t always in our best interest. Distraction probably being the number one culprit to avoid what we fear we can’t get a hold on or manage within ourselves. We consume high quantities of sugar or alcohol, over caffeinate; we chase the high in belief that our world will be somewhat tolerable. The ocean, which holds an enormous amount of energy, goes in and out, ebbs and flows, crashes and calms, it can stay in a state of equilibrium with itself. It can manage the energy of itself because it naturally allows itself to BE all of the enormity that it encompasses. It does not get lost in any one way of being: sad, happy, sorrowful, overjoyed, confused, depressed. If we listen and watch and become like the ocean we can allow ourselves to come back into equilibrium.
This is the significance of a grief ritual. It creates the space for us to be our ocean. It is because of societies fear of feeling anything but “happy” that we really don’t feel much at all. We are guided into a false sense of inhabiting our bodies when all we do is strive for the quick fix to feel good. When we can allow ourselves to deliberately be awash of all our energies, thus all our emotions, we come back to the calm restorative place, like the ocean, in all our powerful magnificence of being exactly what it is we are supposed to be: a vessel of life. Expressing itself in each present moment with what arises. Taking with it what it needs to nourish the continuation of existence and allowing what has served its purpose to be laid gently on the shore, to be recycled and transformed into something new and more brilliant.